Game Preview 5/20/11 — Who the heck are these guys? — Braves @ Angels

@ Angels Logo

Atlanta Braves (25-21) @ Los Angeles Angels Anaheim (22-23)

 Pitching Probables: ATL — Tim Hudson (4-3, 3.03 ERA) LAA — Ervin Santana (1-4, 4.85 ERA)

 Game Info: 7:05 PT; TV – Fox Sports West; Radio – KLAA 830 AM

With interleague play upon us we get to see teams that normally don’t grace the hallowed ground of Angel Stadium. Or, to put it another way, a chance to lose to a whole new set of teams.

The Angels are scuffling in a serious fashion and return home to face what a lot of people think is one of the better NL teams despite their pedestrian record. Atlanta get a lot of publicity due their place in the glamour division of the National League, but they do have a great pitching staff, a really good bullpen and enough hitting to be dangerous. Just the recipe the Angels need to try to end this five game skid. The Angels offense is falling apart and the bullpen has been a trainwreck, and to top it off the Ace of the staff, the once mighty Jered Weaver, has a dead arm. The good news is that the Angels tend to feast on the National League. The Angels rank fifth all-time with 139 interleague victories and have won 25 of their last 36 against the NL.

Monkey See, Monkey Do Expect…Expect….what? I don’t know what to think of this team anymore. I keep waiting for some veteran to step in and start to lead this team but it just isn’t happening. The kids are going to be streaky, but Abreu and Hunter need to show some signs of consistency or this season may be over before the All-Star Break. My hope would be a big game from Torii tonight to atone for yesterday’s loss.

Monkey See, Monkey Don’t I would be shocked to see Howie Kendrick tonight. He tweaked his hamstring and if your the Angels this should be of concern. Howie has been the best hitter of late and needs to be healthy for the Angels to win. This will probably push Amarista into the field (or Willits) which hinders the offense even more. It also means that half the line-up wouldn’t be able to ride the Matterhorn at Disneyland.

The Monkey’s Bananas Prediction of the Day Call me an optimist or call me crazy but I think tonight is the night for Ervin Santana. I think he finds his groove and with the help from a big fly from Hunter the Halos pull out of their losing streak. It’ll be close but the Halos prevail, probably in extra innings (hey, it’s been almost a week, aren’t we due for some extra session baseball?) Angels win 4-3 in 11 innings.